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Node growth exceeds expectations

30 March 2009

Profinet is experiencing a rapid increase in the number of installed nodes. With 1.6 million nodes by the end of 2008, previously unseen growth of 40% was recorded (there were 1.1 million nodes at the end of 2007). Profinet is thus the undisputed market leader in Ethernet-based industrial communication. PI (Profibus & Profinet International) estimates that the number will rise to 3 million by the end of 2010.

Node growth exceeds expectations
Node growth exceeds expectations

The growth of Profibus nodes is also developing impressively. In 2008, the growth in the number of nodes to 5 million in comparison to the previous year (4.5 million nodes) meant an increase of an additional 11%. Thus the total number of installed nodes rose to 28.3 million. Based on the calculated development curve, PI estimates that the 50 million node mark may be passed by the end of 2012.

This growth reflects the trust of users, who utilize the advantages of Profibus technology over the entire life cycle of their systems. A decisive factor for the constant increase in use is full investment protection and compatibility. This is important due to the long service life of systems, especially in process automation. The fact that this industry has also become fully reliant on the advantages of fieldbus technology is evidenced by the increasing number of PA devices. By the end of 2008, 880,000 PA devices had been installed in the field, which corresponds to 20% growth. The total number of Profibus (DP and PA) nodes installed in the process industry amounts now to 4.8 million.

Great acceptance of PROFIsafe for use in safety-relevant systems is shown by its enormous market share: By the end of 2008, the number of PROFIsafe systems reached 66,000 and the number of PROFIsafe devices reached 630,000. A recently published study by the ARC currently sees the total market of bus-capable safety devices at 700,000. This means that PROFIsafe has a 90% market share.

For an update on Profibus, Profinet, PROFIsafe and wireless industrial communications, readers are recommended to attend the Profibus & Profinet User Conference at Stratford Manor Hotel, Stratford on Avon, June 16/17 2009 where industry experts will present the latest on the technologies and their application in a packed programme of technical presentations and hands-on workshops. Full details and the Conference Programme and reservation form can be found on the conference website at

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